US General: Iraq drained resources for Katrina

Clearly this general must be a shill for the irritating liberal echo chamber.

The deployment of thousands of National Guard troops from Mississippi and Louisiana in Iraq when Hurricane Katrina struck hindered those states’ initial storm response, military and civilian officials said Friday.

Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said that “arguably” a day or so of response time was lost due to the absence of the Mississippi National Guard’s 155th Infantry Brigade and Louisiana’s 256th Infantry Brigade, each with thousands of troops in Iraq.

“Had that brigade been at home and not in Iraq, their expertise and capabilities could have been brought to bear,” said Blum.

Of course, our leaders know better than to swallow this Frenchman-like tripe.

Asked Tuesday about critics who said the commitment of large numbers of troops to the Iraq conflict hindered the military’s response to Hurricane Katrina, Rumsfeld said, “Anyone who’s saying that doesn’t understand the situation.”

Yes, and our leaders at the top have such a deep and total understanding of the situation. That’s why things are going so swimmingly in Iraq, and why the Katrina rescue operations went like clockwork.

Update: While I’m on the topic of Katrina, I have to point out this story, which perhaps constitutes the most shocking, depressing, inexcusable news out of New Orleans yet. And it has nothing to do with the Federal government.

The Discussion: 13 Comments

Math, I am moving your comment to the open thread where it belongs, as it has nothing to do with this post. Thanks.

September 10, 2005 @ 11:27 am | Comment

Richard, have you read the entire account by the paramedics? It’s truly one of the most shocking stories I’ve read to come out of this disaster. One of them was interviewed on THIS AMERICAN LIFE last night, along with another person who joined their little group. My favorite part was, at the end, one of the paramedics was able to use personal connections to FINALLY get permission to cross the bridge – but ONLY for him and his “immediate family.” So you had these two white paramedics traveling with several black women, their nephews and one latino kid. And they set up this whole family relationship: “this is my sister in law. This is my nephew. And THIS is my foster child.”

September 10, 2005 @ 12:26 pm | Comment

After reading stuff like that, I feel truly ashamed to be an American. I never thought we could do that to our own people. Too horrible to contemplate.

September 10, 2005 @ 12:29 pm | Comment

deleted – please post in English

September 10, 2005 @ 12:34 pm | Comment

Ok, I apologize.

September 10, 2005 @ 12:40 pm | Comment

What gets me, Math, is that ONE thing I always knew the US was good at was disaster situations of this sort. Time and time again, the country has shown its ability to mobilize quickly and get the job done. The fact that there were so many failures of government response here is shocking and disheartening. It shows how much the basic functions of government have been compromised in recent years and how much rebuilding will be necessary in Washington, as well as in the Gulf states.

September 10, 2005 @ 12:59 pm | Comment

My problem hasn’t been so much with the relief efforts as with the leadership deficit. The entire role of the president at a time of crisis like this is to rally the nation, instill a sense of mutual sacrifice and inspiration. Instead, we got a mealy-mouthed president uttering mindless platitudes (“we will emerge stronger in the end”) and, as usual, congratulating those who exhibiuted the most incompetence. True enough that once the rescue operations kicked into gear they seemed to be well organized and professional. The agony was the long wait and the indecision in between the time the storm hit and the point the relief efforts got started in earnest. A lot of people died needlessly, people who weren’t killed by the storm but who died waiting to be rescued.

September 10, 2005 @ 1:15 pm | Comment

I’d buy the idea that initial Guard response was delayed because of missing troops and equipment in Iraq. I’m not sure, however, that this delay was the critical path. The official investigations will no doubt identify it and assign blame appropriately.

For non-US readers, the US President is not allowed to send in Federal troops into a state without the permission of the Governor. Other state Guards are not allowed to cross over into a state without permission of the Governor of that state. Louisiana Gov. Blanco delayed issuing permission for Federal troops to cross over and delayed activating the mutual aid compact that would allow other Guard formations to enter Lousiana.

So which delay effect was bigger and was to blame for the net delay? I don’t know and I’m willing to hold partisan fire until all the facts are in.

I believe that Greta just bought itself a huge class action lawsuit and that municipality will be paying for their illegal actions for many years. The freedom to travel is an important one in the US. We have no internal passport system and whoever issued this order is likely to have their lives ruined when the facts are in. Again, for non-US readers, the position of Sheriff is an elected one in LA, as it is in much of the US. The Greta sheriff is currently serving his first term and is a Democrat, as was his predecessor. The people on both sides of that ugly encounter were very likely members of the same political party. I wonder if that’s going to be true going forward?

September 10, 2005 @ 11:04 pm | Comment

I can not believe that as one of the most advanced country, still have such things happen.

Why Bush can put 8 billion US dollor and army into iraq while he claim he have no army to be send to new orlean to evacuate the people from the convention center.

While you have 1.2 billion people in the country, China consider to make try them best to make the country better.

September 11, 2005 @ 12:57 am | Comment

Um, Blanco did NOT delay permission. That is another Rovian canard. Other states offered their troops, Blanco accepted and permission had to be granted in Washington…and that’s where the paperwork sat for something like 36 hours.

I’m quoting from memory but can provide backup if you would like.

The Bush Administration lies. That’s what they do. Whatever it takes to maintain power. They lied and said that Blanco did not declare a state of emergency – this is also not true. The problem is, the lies get into the public discourse, and by the time outlets like the Washington Post correct their reporting (I’m not sure if Newsweek did or not), a lot of people who do not follow the news closely absorb only this and not the fact that it was another out and out fucking lie from the Bush administration.

You really need to get this. The Bush administration does not shade facts. They do not just spin. They lie, repeatedly, as a matter of course. Lying is one of the few things they are really good at doing.

September 11, 2005 @ 2:30 am | Comment

Lisa, we won’t get anywhere with TM. Here’s proof positive that he is lying, but he actually believes himself. The BS about Blanco not requesting Federal assistance on all levels was debunked a full week ago — she requested it two days before the crisis hit! But TM wants to live in his parallel universe, beholden to the LGF/Michelle Maglalang echo chamber. Anyone who cites the Karen Hughes – Karl Rove script without doing his own research is bad news.

September 11, 2005 @ 4:13 am | Comment

I wonderf if he’s seen the moment by moment timeline complete with links showing when aid was requested by who? Yet another smoking gun, proving TM is flapping his wings like a chicken with its head cut off, all full of hysteria by not a whiff of substance.

TM is so wrong on all coounts, yet he sounds so erudite, self assured and knowledgeable, it’s creepy.

Sorry if I sound harsh on the dear boy. He’s a Powerline type of guy, and they really rub me the wrong way, I admit it – snide, omniscent, patronizing and supercilious. Boring as a rock, as well.

September 11, 2005 @ 5:06 am | Comment

Hurricane Katrina did raise a lot of questions, not only in the US but also in other parts of the world. My next door neighbours dropped by for morning tea today and we had a good discussion about the horrifying reports of unnecessary sufferings and inefficient government response that we witnessed everyday on TV and radio since the outbreak of the disaster. But what brings to home is the question of how well any country could have prepared for a disaster of this proportion. We are also asking whether we Australian would have done something different in circumstance like this. After much deliberation, we decided that it’s not fair for us to compare our experience with what happened in New Orlean. Apart from Sydney and Melbourne, most places in Australia are not much bigger than a country town. It would probably be easier for us to coodinate our rescue efforts. But we did go into details about the importance of mutual help in situation like this. I guess this spins out of the “mateship” concept that we always uphold as a kind of motto. But in reality, God knows how many people will actually put this into practice.

September 11, 2005 @ 5:13 am | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.